Hannah Arendt

Hannah Arendt , born Johanna Arendt ( Linden-Limmer , 14 of October of 1906 – New York , 4 of December of 1975 ) was a political philosopher German , later nationalized American , of Jewish origin , and one of the most influential twentieth century . 1

The deprivation of rights and persecution in Germany of people of Jewish origin after 1933, as well as his brief imprisonment that same year, contributed to his decision to emigrate. The Nazi regime withdrew nationality in 1937, so it was a stateless person until he got the nationality American in 1951.

She worked, among other things, as a journalist and high school teacher and published important works on political philosophy; however, he refused to be classified as a ” philosopher ” and also distanced the term ” political philosophy “; He preferred that his publications be classified within “political theory “. Arendt defended a concept of ” pluralism ” in the political arena. Thanks to pluralism, the potential for political freedom and equality between people would be generated. Important is the perspective of the inclusion of the Other . In political agreements, conventions and laws must work at practical levels appropriate and willing people. As a result of these thoughts, Arendt critically stood in front of the representative democracy and preferred a system of advice or forms of direct democracy .

Often, continues to be studied as a philosopher, largely due to their critical discussions of philosophers like Socrates , Plato , Aristotle , Immanuel Kant , Martin Heidegger and Karl Jaspers , besides important representatives of modern political philosophy Machiavelli and Montesquieu . Precisely thanks to his independent thinking, the theory of totalitarianism ( Theorie der totalen Herrschaft ), his works on existential philosophy and his claim to free political discussion has Arendt a central role in contemporary debates.

As sources of his disquisitions Arendt uses, in addition to philosophical, political and historical documents, biographies and literary works. These texts are interpreted literally and are confronted with Arendt’s thinking. His system of analysis – partly influenced by Heidegger – makes it an original thinker located between different fields of knowledge and university specialties. His personal development and that of his thought show an important degree of coincidence.

Life and work

Childhood and youth

The Königsberg Prussia , now Kaliningrad .

Johanna Arendt was born in 1906 into a family of secularized Jews near Hannover . His ancestors came from Königsberg in Prussia (now city Russian of Kaliningrad ), where his father returned, the engineer Paul Arendt, sick with syphilis , her mother and her Martha Cohn, when Hannah was only three years. 2 After the death of his father in 1913, was educated quite liberal by his mother, who had trends Social Democrats . In the intellectual circles of Königsberg in which she grew up, the education of the girls was something that was taken for granted. Through his grandparents she met the Reform Judaism . She did not belong to any religious community, but she always considered herself Jewish.

In 1920, at fourteen, I had read the Critique of Pure Reason (1781) of Kant 3 and the psychology of world views (1919) of Jaspers . In 1923, at seventeen, he had to leave school for disciplinary problems, then going alone to Berlin , where, without having finished school, he took classes in theology Christian and first studied the work of Søren Kierkegaard . Back to Königsberg in 1924, was presented for free and passed the entrance examination to university ( Abitur ). 4


In 1924 he began his studies at the University of Marburg ( Hesse ) and for one year he attended the Philosophy classes of Martin Heidegger and Nicolai Hartmann , and those of Protestant theology of Rudolf Bultmann , as well as Greek .

Heidegger , a 35-year-old father, and Arendt, a seventeen-year-old student, fell in love, though they had to keep their relationship secret by appearances. 5 6 At the beginning of 1926 could not stand the situation and decided to change university, moving for a semester at the University Albert Ludwig of Freiburg , to learn with Edmund Husserl . Then he studied philosophy at the University of Heidelberg ( Baden-Wuerttemberg ) and a doctorate in 1928 under the guidance of Karl Jaspers , with the thesis The concept of love in St. Augustine . Friendship with Jaspers would last until the death of this.

Arendt had led a life collection in Marburg as a result of the secrecy of the relationship with Heidegger ; only he maintained friendships with other students, like Hans Jonas , and his friends of Königsberg . In Heidelberg he extended his circle of friends, to which Karl Frankenstein belonged , Erich Neumann , follower of Jung , and Erwin Loewenson , an expressionist essayist. Jonas also moved to Heidelberg and performed work on St. Augustine .

Another circle of friends was opened thanks to his friendship with the Germanist Benno von Wiese and his studies with Friedrich Gundolf , who had recommended Jaspers . Of importance was his friendship with Kurt Blumenfeld , director and spokesman of the Zionist movement German, whose studies focused on the so – called Jewish question and cultural assimilation . Hannah Arendt thanked her in a 1951 letter for her own understanding of the situation of the Jews . 7

Marriage, beginning of the Nazi government, first political activity

His first book is titled The Concept of Love in St. Augustine: Essay on a Philosophical Interpretation . This is his doctoral thesis published in 1929 in Berlin . In the thesis, it links elements of the philosophy of Martin Heidegger with those of Karl Jaspers and already emphasizes the importance of the birth for the individual as for his neighbor. This moves away from his teacher Heidegger , who sees life as an “advance” on toward death. 8 The work was reviewed in important philosophical and literary publications. Arendt criticized contemplase to St. Augustine as a philosopher and not as father of the Church , besides the fact that by citing the most recent theological literature.

In Berlin , in 1929, the philosopher Günther Stern (who later became Günther Anders ) was found, whom he had already met in Marburg . 9 Later he moved in with him, something that was frowned upon by society at the time, and that same year they got married. After a short break in Heidelberg, the marriage lived for one year in Frankfurt . Arendt wrote for the Frankfurter Zeitung newspaper and participated in seminars by Paul Tillich and Karl Mannheim , whose book Ideology and Utopia made a critical review. 10 At the same time, he studied the work of the writer Rahel Varnhagen , an assimilated Jewish intellectual , researcher of Romanticism .

When it became clear that Stern’s doctoral thesis was not to be accepted by Theodor Adorno , they returned to Berlin. There, Arendt began to work in his work on Rahel Varnhagen von Ense that would realize in form of thesis. Following a positive report of Jaspers, who also got other Heidegger and Martin Dibelius , he obtained a grant from the Notgemeinschaft der Deutschen Wissenschaft (Association of German science help). Simultaneously, Arendt became increasingly interested in political issues. He read Marx and Trotsky and established contacts at the Hochschule für Politik (Higher School of Politics) in Berlin. He analyzed the social exclusion of the Jews, despite the assimilation, based on the concept of ” pariah “, used for the first time by Max Weber to talk about the Jews. To this term he opposed the term “parvenu” (an upstart), inspired by the writings of Bernard Lazare . In 1932 published in the journal Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland ( History of the Jews in Germany ) the article “Aufklärung und Judenfrage” ( “The Enlightenment and the Jewish question), which develops his ideas on the independence of Judaism, confronting them to Those of the illustrated Gotthold Ephraim Lessing and Moses Mendelssohn and the precursor of Romanticism Johann Gottfried Herder . eleven

Also in 1932 a critique of the book Das Frauenproblem in der Gegenwart ( The problem of women today ) of Alice Rühle-Gerstel , 12 in commending the emancipation of women in public life, but also discusses its limitations – Especially in marriage and professional life. It notes the “factual contempt” suffered by women in society and criticizes duties that are not compatible with their independence. Instead, Arendt looks at feminism from a distance. On the one hand, it insists that the political fronts are “fronts of men” and on the other hand it considers “feminist” movements as “questionable”, as are the youth movements, because both – with structures that cross social classes – must fail in their Attempt to create influential political parties.

Shortly before the coming to power of Hitler ( 30 of January of 1933), Karl Jaspers tried to convince several letters she had considered German. She rejected it by pointing out her Jewish existence. He wrote: “For me, Germany is the mother tongue, philosophy and poetry.” Otherwise he felt distant. In particular, he criticized the expression “being ( Wesen ) German” employee by Jaspers. He replied: “I am surprised that you, as a Jew, want to differentiate yourself from the Germans.” 13 Both also maintain these positions faced after the War .

In 1932, Arendt was already thinking of emigration, but initially stayed in Germany when her husband emigrated to Paris in March 1933, and began his political activity. On the recommendation of Kurt Blumenfeld, he worked for a Zionist organization, studying the persecution of the Jews, which was in its infancy. His house served as a transit station for refugees. In July 1933 she was detained for eight days by the Gestapo . A Günter Gaus told him his reasons: “If you attack a Jew, as a Jew must defend yourself.” 14

Already in 1933 he defended the position that the National Socialist regime should be actively fought . This position is contrary to that of many German intellectuals, partly even those of Jewish origin, who wanted to live with National Socialism, underestimating the dictatorship and even praising the new masters of power. In the interview with Gaus he expressed his disdain for the ” Gleichschaltung ” (“adaptation” to the new regime) of most intellectuals. 15 The question disgusted to Arendt and would have nothing in common with those scholars gregarious , opportunistic or even enthusiastic.

From this thought arose its dispute with Leo Strauss , whose conservative thought rejected. He was also disappointed by the entry of Heidegger in the NSDAP , so he broke his relationship with him and not resumed until 1950. He also ended the friendship with Benno von Wiese when approached Nazism and joined the NSDAP also in 1933 . b

This experience, deeply estranged from his friends, is described several times in his works and in his correspondence. She started from the conviction that these were voluntary decisions, of which the individual was responsible. Shortly before his death he maintained that precisely many professional thinkers failed against National Socialism when they committed themselves to the regime. Arendt did not demand of them an active opposition, but acknowledged and silence as a rejection of totalitarianism . 16

Exile, second marriage and commitment to Jewish refugees

Passing through Karlovy Vary , in the Czech Republic , Genoa and Geneva , he initially emigrated to France in 1933. In Paris , without papers, he returned to work for a Zionist organization, among other things, helping young Jews to flee to Palestine . In the scientific field, he continued researching on anti-Semitism and held several conferences for different associations and at the Freie Deutsche Hochschule Paris , founded in exile on 19 November 1935.

Hannah Arendt and her husband Günther Anders and had different interests in Berlin and frequented circles of friends apart: he, more integrated into the environment communist , had friendship with Bertolt Brecht ; She, ever closer to Zionism and other Jewish personalities. Initially they lived together in Paris and went together to the seminaries of Alexandre Kojève and meetings of intellectuals in exile. But the marriage failed and they divorced in 1937. She had already known in 1936 Heinrich Blücher , a former communist, who had opposed very soon to the policy of Stalin . In Paris, they both belonged to the same circle of German refugees, along with Walter Benjamin , lawyer Erich Cohn-Bendit, psychologist Fritz Fränkel, and painter Kurt Heidenreich. 17

In 1937 German nationality was withdrawn to him. In 1939 he managed to save his mother, who was still in Königsberg. In January 1940 he married Heinrich Blücher. For him it was his third marriage.

At the beginning of 1940, through the press, the French authorities called the majority of foreigners of German origin to be deported. Arendt, along with many other women, spent a week in the grounds of a velodrome in Paris. He was then transferred to the internment camp of Gurs until July of that year, as it was regarded as “foreign enemy”. In the interview with Gaus he comments sarcastically: “people were admitted by their friends into” internment camps “and by their enemies in” concentration camps “. After five weeks, she managed to escape, along with a few others, from Gurs, taking advantage of the fact that French surveillance temporarily decreased due to the capture of Paris by the Wehrmacht and its progress towards the south. 18 In a letter to Salomon Adler-Rudel , Arendt recounted soon after the circumstances of the internment of refugees from Nazi Germany. 19 She and her husband spent the period following in Montauban , and Arendt managed to obtain passports for Lisbon thanks to the network who created the American journalist, Varian Fry in Marseille, who helped her escape with other known Jewish artists and thinkers.

A great friendship joined him in French exile with the then still largely unknown Walter Benjamin , to which he also materially supported. After his death, he tried unsuccessfully in 1945 to publish the works of Benjamin in the Schocken publishing house. He was only able to publish his essays in 1969 in the USA. UU. , With annotations and a prolog of their own. twenty

Emigration to the US Work and struggle for a Jewish army

In May 1941 Arendt, with her husband and mother, arrived in New York , passing through Lisbon . The family initially lived in a small hotel, a tiny grant from the Zionist refugee organization. Arendt immediately improved his knowledge of English. From October 1941 she worked as a writer in the Jewish-German magazine Aufbau in New York. He regularly wrote a short column called ” This means You “. The article first, entitled ‘ Mose and Washington “(” Moses and Washington “), has as its starting point the history of Jewish exile, under the figure of Moses . Arendt argues that modern (reformed) Judaism has lost its authentic tradition, a motive that is also found in the theses of his book on Rahel Varnhagen. “Among us paradoxically grows the number of those who replace Moses and David by Washington or Napoleon …” Jews who wanted to “rejuvenate” themselves at the expense of non-Jews. Arendt critically observes that (Jewish) history is not a vehicle from which one can alleviate on a whim; Demands that Judaism be made a “consecration”, that is, a weapon in the struggle for freedom. With that he wanted to awaken Jewish political consciousness in the world. He claimed in many articles to create a Jewish army of his own, to fight side by side with the Allies . Neither she nor the few who seconded her succeeded in this demand, which Arendt formulated before the mass killings in the extermination camps began .

Although Arendt defined himself as a Zionist (secular), he took increasingly critical positions on the Zionist conception of the world, which compared with other ideologies such as socialism or liberalism , which made predictions about the future. He considered that freedom and justice were the basic principles of politics, something incompatible with the idea of ​​an elected people . This position was mostly rejected by Jewish public opinion. twenty-one

Two years later, he published the essay We Refugees ( “We refugees’), in which he discussed the disastrous situation of refugees and stateless persons , who are” illegal ” c without rights.

From 1944 to 1946 she was research director of the Conference on Jewish Relations and then, until 1949, a lecturer in the Jewish publishing house Schocken . From 1949 to 1952 he served as Executive Secretary of the Jewish Cultural Reconstruction Corporation (JCR), the organization for the rescue and care of Jewish culture . Until in 1951 Heinrich Blücher got a job in a university teaching philosophy, Hannah Arendt practically won the family’s livelihood.

First trips to Germany and reports on the consequences of the Nazi regime

On 26 July 1948 his mother, Martha Arendt, died while traveling to England at the Queen Mary . Commissioned by the JCR, Hanna Arendt traveled to the German Federal Republic in 1949-1950. During his stay, he met, for the first time since 1933, with Karl Jaspers and Martin Heidegger. He made a second trip in 1952. From then on he traveled to Europe for a few months, partly to Israel , visiting many friends and family, but on each occasion to Karl and Gertrud Jaspers.

In the trial Besuch in Deutschland. Die Nachwirkungen des Naziregimes (1950: Visit in Germany, The Consequences of the Nazi Regime ) 22 writes very detailed about the postwar situation. Germany has destroyed the moral fabric of the Western world in a short time thanks to crimes that no one thought possible. Millions of people from Eastern Europe flocked to the destroyed country.

“It may be doubted whether the policy of the Allies to expel all German minorities from non-German countries – as if there were not enough stateless people in the world – was an intelligent move; But it is beyond doubt that for the European peoples who suffered during the war the criminal policy of the German population, the mere fact of imagining having to coexist with Germans in the same territory not only generates rage but horror.

He noticed a curious indifference in the population. Europe was covered by a shadow of deep pain caused by German concentration camps and extermination camps. But nowhere was this nightmare of destruction and terror as silent as in Germany. “The indifference with which the Germans move among the ruins has its correspondence in which no one mourns the dead.”

On the other hand, there were many stories about the suffering of the Germans, compared with the sufferings of others, with which, in a quiet way, in Germany it was considered that the balance had been balanced. The flight of responsibility and the search for guilt in the powers of occupation are widespread. “The average German seeks the causes of the last war not in the actions of the Nazi regime, but in the circumstances that led to the expulsion of Adam and Eve from Paradise.”

Works on the existential philosophy

After the War, Arendt wrote two articles on existential philosophy . In the magazine Nation he appeared in early 1946 the text French Existentialism ( “French Existentialism”), which examines especially the thought of Albert Camus . He expressed to Jaspers his great hopes for a new type of person who, without “European nationalism”, is European and who is fighting for European federalism . Among them was Camus, who came from the French resistance , and who certified honesty and deep political understanding. 2. 3

The item Was ist Existenzphilosophie? (“What is existential philosophy?”) Was published almost at the same time in the USA. UU. and the magazine Die Wandlung , founded by Jaspers and others. In 1948 it was reissued, along with five other texts, as a book of essays. It was the first edition of a book of his after the publication in 1929 of his doctoral thesis. In the text he develops his own position within the existential philosophy, which would not continue in his later works. He did not allow the English version to be reprinted. D

In this little work critically discusses the philosophy of Martin Heidegger, who attaches proximity to nihilism modern. Heidegger has never completed its ontology . With the analysis of Dasein from death, Heidegger sits the foundations of the nihility of being. The human being is described as similar to God, but not as a “creator of worlds,” but as a “destroyer of worlds.” Arendt opposes to these ideas that “the human being is not God and lives together with his fellow men in a world”, a thought that will repeat later often. Heidegger avoids the provisional Kantian concepts of “freedom”, “human dignity” and “reason”, reducing man to his functions in the world and attributing his existence only through philosophy. In addition, Arendt criticizes the “non-concepts ( Unbegriffe ) mythologizing” of Heidegger, as “people” and “land”, which was attributed in their classes the 1930s to “self” ( Selbst ). “Such conceptions can only lead outside of philosophy, to some kind of naturalistic superstition.”

Instead, Arendt describes Karl Jaspers ‘ existential philosophy exclusively positively. According to her, Jaspers breaks with all philosophical systems, with worldviews and ‘doctrines of wholeness’, instead of which he deals with ‘ limit situations ‘ and considers existence as a form of freedom. Thus, the human being can, “playing with metaphysics”, to feel the limits of what is thinkable and to transcend them. Unlike Heidegger, for Jaspers philosophy would be only the preparation for “action” through communication, on the basis of reason common to all. Jaspers knows that the thought of transcendence is doomed to failure. The philosophy of Jaspers, emphasizes the author, lies mainly in the ways of his philosophy. These paths can draw from the “dead end of positivist or nihilistic fanaticism.”

Positioning against Palestine and Israel

Hannah Arendt wrote in late 1948 the article Frieden oder Waffenstillstand im Nahen Osten? (“Peace or Armistice in the Middle East?”, Published in the USA in January 1950). The article deals with the history of Palestine and the founding of the State of Israel . According to the text, peace can only be achieved by understanding and a just agreement between Arabs and Jews. It describes the history of immigration since 1907 and emphasizes that since then, both groups are at loggerheads and , also by the invasion Ottoman and later the UK – never have considered be level or have never considered people. While describing the lack of country or world ( Weltlosigkeit ) as the biggest problem of the Jews, criticizes most of the leaders Zionists , who have not seen the problems of the Arab people.

His vision is one Palestine of two nations on the basis of a non – political nationalist , one federation , which could possibly include other states in the Middle East . Immigration and the expulsion of a part of the population of Arab origin represent a moral mortgage, while the collectives based on equality and justice ( kibbutz ) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem , as well as industrialization, are in the Column of credit.

According to Arendt, Israel could escape the laws of capitalism , as it was funded by grants from the US. UU. And, therefore, was under no obligation to maximize the benefit. His concern was that Israel would follow an aggressive expansionist policy , after a war won , which had brought the misfortune to Jews and Arabs, in addition to having destroyed all the economic sectors of both towns. But he had hopes in the spirit universalist Judaism and understanding the forces arrayed in the Arab states . 24

At that time there were very few personalities of the Jewish and Arab sides who supported a binational Palestine. Arendt refers to the first president of the Hebrew university Judah Magnes Leon 25 and the politician and professor of philosophy Lebanese Charles Malik , of which emphasizes its exceptionality. Both clearly supported an understanding between Jews and Arabs for the solution of the Palestinian problem, Magnes in 1946 and Malik before the UN Security Council in May 1948.

When in December 1948 the former leader of the terrorist organization anti – British Irgun , Menachem Begin , came to New York in order to get donations for his new party Herut , twenty intellectuals, including several of Jewish origin were counted, wrote a harsh An open letter that was published on December 4, 1948 in the New York Times . 26 Among the signatories were, besides Hannah Arendt, among others, Isidore Abramowitz, Albert Einstein , Sidney Hook and Stefan Wolpe . In the letter they clearly warned against this party that they considered ” extreme right ” and ” racist “.

Twenty years later, Arendt wrote to a friend, the American writer Mary McCarthy , that Israel was an impressive example of equality between people. More importantly, he considered the “passion for survival” 27 of the Jewish people present since antiquity. He expressed his fear that the Holocaust could be repeated. He considers that Israel is necessary as a place of refuge and because of the incombustible anti-Semitism . Arendt comments that any real catastrophe in Israel affects him more than almost anything else. 28

Forms of total dominion

Immediately after World War II, Arendt began working on an extensive study of National Socialism ; In 1948 and 1949 extended to Stalinism . The book is made up of three parts: Antisemitism (” Anti-Semitism “), Imperialismus (” Imperialism “) and Totale Herrschaft (total domain, ” Totalitarianism “). While for the first two parts Arendt was able to rely heavily on existing historical and literary material, for the third party had to work the basic documentation on his own. 29 In 1951 the American edition appeared with the title The Origins of Totalitarianism ( The Origins of Totalitarianism ). The German version of 1955, prepared by Arendt herself and in a different part of the original, was entitled Elemente und Ursprünge totaler Herrschaft (literally, “Elements and origins of total domination”). Until the third edition of 1966 he reviewed and expanded the work. The work is not pure historiography ; rather critical thought causal most historians and notes that all attempts of historians to explain anti – Semitism have been insufficient.

He put forward a new and much discussed thesis that says that totalitarian movements seize all worldviews and ideologies and can convert them, through terror , into new forms of state. According to Arendt, historically, until 1966, this has been able to carry out only completely Nazism and Stalinism.

Unlike other authors, Arendt considers totalitarian exclusively to these two systems and not to single-party dictatorships, like Italian fascism , Francoism or the post-war regime of the German Democratic Republic . It emphasizes the new quality of totalitarianism in front of the habitual dictatorships. The first extends to all areas of human life, not just the political level. In the center is a mass movement. In Nazism there was a complete reversal of the legal system . Crimes, mass murder, and were the rule. In addition to terror, he believes that the aspiration to world domination is an important feature of totalitarianism.

Arendt emphasizes how, over the background of mass society and the fall of national states by imperialism, traditional political forms, especially political parties, were weaker than totalitarian movements with their new propaganda techniques Of masses.

Along with historical sources, Arendt also uses literary sources, such as Marcel Proust , and dialogues with many thinkers from antiquity, such as Kant and Montesquieu . It applies its own method of “taking ideological opinions seriously”. The claims of totalitarian ideologues would have been underestimated by many observers. 30

Descriptions of totalitarianism served mainly to political scientists to develop theories of totalitarianism that in part go far beyond the strict definition of Arendt.

American nationality, professional development and political positions

In 1951 Hannah Arendt obtained the American nationality. Arendt had suffered greatly as a stateless person , because he considered an exclusion of human society. Citizenship meant for her “the right to have rights”. 31 To solve this problem it required an extension of the constitution of the EE. UU . By which no one could lose his nationality if he became a stateless person.

In Germany, in 1933, Hannah Arendt was on her way to a normal academic career, with a university chair. Nazism destroyed those plans. In his letters and even shortly before his death, he pointed out that he possessed neither property nor position, which, in his own opinion, contributed to the independence of his thought.

Time and time again he showed personal value, for example through his work in Jewish organizations during Nazism. His personal and public stances against political events often caused controversy among his opponents, but also among his friends; Its civic value was frequently had by intransigence and fought as such.

In a brief text of 1948 entitled Memo on research , Arendt names the most important political issues of the time. It distinguishes between central problems of the time:

“Totalitarianism, the racial question, the decadence of the European nation-state system, the emancipation of colonial peoples , the liquidation of British imperialism “

And the exclusively Jewish problems:

“Anti-Semitism, the issue of Palestine, migration, homelessness, etc.” F

Shortly before he had written to Jaspers:

Unter freien Umständen sollte eigentlich jeder einzelne entscheiden dürfen, was er nun gerne sein möchte, Deutscher oder Jude oder was immer […] Woran mir liegen würde, und was man heute [1947] nicht erreichen kann, wäre eigentlich nur eine solche Änderung Der Zustände, daß jeder frei wählen kann, wo er seine politischen Verantwortlichkeiten auszuüben gedenkt und in welcher kulturellen Tradition er sich am wohlsten fühlt. Under circumstances of freedom, every individual should be able to decide what he wants to be, German or Jewish or whatever … If it were up to me and something that can not be achieved today [1947], there would simply be one Change of circumstances, so that everyone could freely choose where they intend to develop their political responsibility and in what cultural tradition they are more comfortable.
Arendt, Arendt to Jaspers, p. 127.

At the age of 47, in 1953 he obtained a temporary professorship at Brooklyn College in New York, thanks in part to his success in the USA. UU. With his book on totalitarianism. In New York he worked with Martin Buber and others for the founding of the Leo Baeck Institut , a documentation and research center for the history of German-speaking Jews. The funds are available digitally at the Jüdisches Museum Berlin .

In the 1950s, in connection with the analysis of totalitarianism, Arendt planned a work on Marxism . From his preliminary investigations came some articles, essays and lessons. In 1953 he published in Aufbau text: Gestern noch wir waren Kommunisten … ( Yesterday we were still communists … ). 32 Arendt distinguishes between “former communists” and “ex-communists”. The former were fine artists who were used as a ruse, well those who had understood the implications of the Moscow trials , the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact or lack of internal party democracy and consequently had retired to his private life. The latter would become their knowledge of communism as a springboard to a new career as experts anticommunist and the Cold War .

Great concern caused him during this time the persecution in the USA. UU. Of former communists, intellectuals and artists by Joseph McCarthy and his followers. Meanwhile he valued the Hungarian uprising of 1956 as test example of a peaceful revolution with traces of a council system. In 1960 he published Die ungarische Revolution und der totalitäre Imperialismus ( The Hungarian revolution and totalitarian imperialism , in English appeared as part of the second edition of The Origins of Totalitarianism ) and in 1961 Between Past and Future ( Between the past and the future , six Essays on political thought).

Already in the mid-1950s, Arendt had filed a claim for damages to the German state ( Deutsche Wiedergutmachungspolitik ) for the injustices suffered under the Nazi regime, a request that was rejected on several occasions. Karl Jaspers wrote a letter stating that the work on Rahel Varnhagen in his 1933 version was a successful postdoctoral work that would have enabled him to teach at a German university and could not be presented because of the rise to Power of the Nazi regime. It was not until 1972 that Arendt got a significant figure from the German Federal Government. His case became a precedent , so that others later benefited from his long lawsuits.

He manifested on several occasions critically with the Adenauer era . After, at the outset, the Nazi criminals were barely punished, after the trial of Eichmann , little by little the worst were judged.

“A bad sign is the incredibly mild sentences issued by the courts. I think that for 6500 Jews killed with gas 3 years and 6 months are obtained, or so […] This so-called republic is really “as before” ( wie gehabt ). Nor will economic development help in the long run to overcome this political situation. ” 33

In the following years, he dealt with discrimination against blacks in the United States. The “black question”, whose solution was considered essential for the existence of the Republic. g condemned on numerous occasions the Vietnam War , for example after an analysis of the Pentagon Papers , which published under the title Lying in Politics ( Lying in politics ) in 1971.

In June 1968 he wrote to Jaspers: ” It gives me the impression that the children of the next century will study the year 1968 as we study the 1848 revolution .” 34 Arendt sympathized with the student movement worldwide, but criticized harshly subsequent abuses Perceived In his work Macht und Gewalt ( Power and Violence ), published in 1970 simultaneously in English and German, he makes a detailed analysis of student rebellion and differentiates the concepts of “power” ( Macht ) and “violence” ( Gewalt ). H By “power” ( Macht ) he understands an important influence of citizens on political affairs, within the framework of the constitution and laws. No form of government survives without a power base. Even totalitarianism, which relies heavily on violence, needs the support of many.

Adelbert Reif told him in an interview in 1970 that he appreciated the students’ “eagerness to act” and “the confidence of being able to change things with their own strength.” In the USA UU. A spontaneous political movement appeared for the first time in a long time that not only propagated but acted on almost exclusively moral grounds. On the other hand, it rejected the further development of the movement in the form of ‘ fanaticism ‘, ‘ ideologies ‘ and ‘ vandalism ‘. “The good things in history usually have a very short duration.” For example, it’s like we draw today (1970) still short Greek classic era . 35

Main works

Rahel Varnhagen. Lebensgeschichte einer deutschen Jüdin aus der Romantik.

The manuscript for his great work of youth on Rahel Varnhagen 71 was written by Arendt in Berlin between 1931 and early 1933. The last two chapters, on his theory of pariah and parvenu , were written in exile in Paris in 1938. The work Was first published in 1958, published by the Leo Baeck Institute , with a prologue written that year in English, translated from German. The German edition went on sale in 1959. The work is based on published or unpublished letters, in addition to the Varnhagen diary, which Arendt evaluates in part for the first time.

The author describes his work as Jaspers ‘ book of women ” 72 and, in the prologue, as a contribution to the history of German Jews . Using as an example the protagonist, born in 1771, shows the failure of the attempt to assimilate rich and cultured Jews in the nineteenth century due to the increase of social anti-Semitism.

Illustrated and supported by reason, Rahel Levin had managed to form their own Berlin literary salon and trying to you to you to writers, scientists and philosophers, but failed entry into the high German society.

In order to rise to the nobility or at least to the high society, Rahel repeatedly tried unsuccessfully to overcome her Judaism through a marriage. It failed twice because of its Jewish origin and once because of the idea of ​​the inferiority of the woman against the man. After these experiences, he changed his surname to Robert , to make visible also his separation from the Jewish identity.

In the early nineteenth century they appeared the first pamphlets modern Against the Jews , which was followed by a wave of anti – Semitism. In 1806 the hall of Rahel closed up after the Napoleonic invasion . The new literary halls of Berlin that were opened from 1809 are described by Arendt as political-literary circles, dominated by the aristocracy and patriotic, with statutes that prohibited access to women, French, Philistines and Jews.

Rahel then even tried to adopt a philosophical form of nationalism of Fichte , to “join”. According to Arendt, this could not work, “for the patriotic anti – Semitism, which Fichte was not far away, all poisoned relations between Jews and non – Jews.” 73

Finally he met in 1808 to August Varnhagen was allowed to baptize him and got close to the desired assimilation due to late marriage.

Already in 1815 antisemitism arose again openly and strongly. In 1819 there were pogroms in Prussia . Thanks to the rise in the job, a knighthood and an improvement in their economic situation, August von Varnhagen was the cream of society. Rahel had reached her goal. She was “foolish” and “immensely happy,” argues Arendt, “because she was graciously allowed to participate.” 74

In spite of everything, Rahel’s attitude remained ambivalent. She still felt like a “stranger” in an anti-Semitic society and complained that women were completely determined by the status of husband and son and very often they were not seen as people with a spirit of their own.

Arendt defines as a parvenu a person who “deceives” to enter into a society to which he does not belong. It is these lies that, according to Arendt, perfectly dominate Rahel and her husband. He calls it parvenu , it places her between pariah and parvenu , since the deception and hypocrisy for the social ascent seemed more and more a lie and a burden.

From 1821 to 1832, Rahel von Varnhagen led a second hall, again with illustrious guests. But this literary circle, even more than the first, remained as an illusion of community and integration. Outside the room, the Varnhagen remained isolated and did not get any invitation to the desired circles.

Arendt concludes: in a generally anti-Semitic society, Jews can only be assimilated if they also assimilate anti-Semitism.

The assimilated Jews of Europe also remained as marginalized ( Außenseiter ) or outcasts, because for the most part they were not recognized by a large part of the nobility or, above all, by the bourgeoisie . While the rich could play the role of parvenu , the fact had to be bought with lies, submission and hypocrisy. It was not possible to overcome the status of the marginalized poor. Some pariahs became rebels and maintained their identity.

Up until shortly before his death, Rahel sought the complete assimilation as a person in society. Only at the end of his life did he take a clear stance, he became again Jewish and pariah. From now on he saw the reality of anti-Semitism clear. As follower of Saint-Simon demanded equality and rights without regard to origin.

The origins of totalitarianism

In the first part of his main work, Eleend und Ursprünge totaler Herrschaft , The origins of totalitarianism , almost a thousand pages, Arendt reconstructs the development of anti-Semitism in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries; In the second part, the development and functioning of racism and imperialism in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries; And in the third it describes the two forms of totalitarianism (which she calls total domination), National Socialism and Stalinism , against the backdrop of her thesis of the growing destruction of political space by the alienation of the individual in mass society .

Semitism, imperialism and totalitarianism

Arendt dismisses all ideologies of the nineteenth century, as the scientism of the bourgeoisie, for example the case of Darwinism . But it also rejects idealism as the origin of the National Socialist concept of “natural law.” It also places itself critically in the face of philosophical historical optimism with respect to progress, shown for example in Marxism , and the pessimistic conceptions of history, since it rejects any linear representation of historical evolution, and, instead, Is convinced of the possibility of a new beginning or a failure of each new generation.

The Semitism became the eighteenth and nineteenth century in an irrational ideology linked to nationalism . Especially important for the development of this ideology of nations and peoples it is, as Arendt sees the imperialism , studying, taking as a tool of imperialism theory of Rosa Luxemburg , 75 as a basis for further development of anti – Semitism and racism. While “national” anti-Semitism seeks the expulsion of Jews from the country, “imperial” anti-Semitism seeks the annihilation of Jews in all nations.

Imperialism disintegrated the political spaces of society by removing the obstacles of domestic and foreign policy that impeded the expansion of capital. Arendt expands the Marxist concept of imperialism with the dimension of racism and criticizes the reduction of the discussion on capitalism to pure economic questions. The political motive of imperialism is the attempt to divide humanity into “races of lords and slaves,” “blacks and whites.” 76

In the course of their policy of conquest of the world, totalitarian regimes greatly increased the number of refugees and stateless persons and endeavored to destroy their legal and moral positions to dissolve nation states from within:

Wen immer die Verfolger als Auswurf der Menschheit aus dem Lande jagten – Juden, Trotzkisten und so weiter -, wurde überall auch als Auswurf der Menschheit empfangen, und wen sie für unerwünscht und lästig erklärt hatten, wurde zum lästigen Ausländer, wo immer er hinkam. Whoever persecutors expelled the country as the scum of humanity – Jews, Trotskyites , etc. – was also received as the scum of humanity everywhere, and when it was declared as unwanted and annoying, it was received as an annoying foreigner, Wherever they went.
Arendt 77

The question of why Jews were elected as victims often occupied the political thinker. Already in the introduction criticizes historians who do not go beyond the image of the ” Wandering Jew ” ( Ewiger Jude ), natural Semitism and eternal or that spread the theory of ” scapegoats ” or the “theory of Valve “to explain the annihilation of the Jews by the Nazis.

Wenn is wahr ist, die die Menschheit immer darauf bestanden hat, Juden zu ermorden, dann ist Judenmord eine normale, menschliche Betätigung und Judenhaß eine Reaktion, die man noch nicht einmal zu rechtfertigen braucht. If it is true that mankind has always insisted on murdering the Jews, then the murder of Jews is a normal and humane activity and hatred of the Jews is a reaction that does not even need to be justified.
Arendt 78

In fact, however, there is nothing so “terribly easy to remember” as the innocence of all those who were trapped by the “machine of terror.” 79

Delimitation and characterization of totalitarianism

Arendt restricts the concept of totalitarianism national socialism , which ended with the death of Hitler , and Stalinism , whose implementation it is between 1929 and the death of Stalin in 1953, in the history of the Soviet Union . It is, according to its conception, “variations of the same model”. 80 In short, for totalitarian politics are not important the state and the nation , but the mass movement , which is based on ideologies such as racism or Marxism . 81

As characteristics of this form of government sees the transformation of the classes , on the basis of interest- fanatical mass movements, abandoning the solidarity group, the Führerprinzip , the mass killings , the passivity of the victims, Delations, as well as “admiration for crime”.

Consequently, the followers of totalitarian mass movements are not permeable to the arguments and ignore their own survival instinct. Totalitarian leaders boast of their crimes and announce new ones. They execute “laws of nature or history.” While dialectical materialism is based on the best traditions, racism is painfully vulgar. Both ideologies resulted in the elimination of “the harmful” or the superfluous with a view to a movement advancing without obstacles. 82

For Arendt, totalitarianism is the only form of state with which there can be no coexistence or compromise.

Temporary alliance between populace and elite

Totalitarian movements are characterized by Arendt for the loyalty of his followers. Indeed much of the elite intellectual and artistic identified, at least for a time with the totalitarian government. The elite would have disowned (with good reason) of society before the “collapse of the class system” to generate “individuals of the mass” ( Massenindividuen ) and could now “understand” the masses. Similarly, the populace , which does not affect the constitutions, parties or moral systems and includes lowlife and riffraff, also outside the company. He would be ready for the first time and in a position to organize the masses and, since he could not aspire to a career, to hold political positions.

The party leaders thought that this would discredit the populace, but it was the opposite, since the position of the masses was so desperate that they had no hope in a bourgeois society. Hitler’s “hysterical fanaticism” and Stalin’s “vengeful cruelty” had, according to Arendt, characteristic features of the populace.

Jedenfalls beruhte das zeitweilige Bündnis zwischen Elite und Mob weitgehend auf dem echten Vergnügen, der der Mob der Elite bereitete, als er daranging, die Respektabilität der guten Gesellschaft zu entlarven, ob nun die deutschen Stahlbarone den ‘Anstreicher Hitler ‘ empfingen oder ob das Geistes- Und Kulturleben mit plumpen und vulgären Fälschungen aus seiner akademischen Bahn geworfen wurde. In any case, the temporary alliance between elite and populace rested largely on the real amusement which elicited among the elites that the rabble unmasked the respectability of good society, both when the German steel barons received the ” Hitler, “as when intellectual and cultural life was derailed from its academic path by gross and vulgar falsifications.
Arendt 83

Subsequently, the elite was especially fascinated by radicalism, by eliminating the separation between the private and the public, and by capturing the totality of the human being by means of the corresponding worldview. The elite considered that the convictions of the mob were pure, not like the behavior of the bourgeoisie, weakened by hypocrisy. But the hopes of both groups were not fulfilled, since the leaders of the totalitarian movements, who came largely from the mob, represented neither the interests of the latter nor the followers of the intellectuals, but they sought ” millennial kingdoms .” The initiatives of the elite and the mob would have been rather obstacles in “the creation of functional apparatuses of domination and extermination”. The leaders preferred to return to the “mass of synchronized petty- bourgeois philistines “. 84 85

Totalitarian propaganda and indoctrination

While the mob and the elite themselves wanted to revolutionize everything that existed through terror, the masses could only be integrated into totalitarian organizations through propaganda . Totalitarian movements transform the perception of the reality of society and fix it in universal meanings. The movement absorbed ideologies of a “racial society or [of] a classless and nationless society” [ 86] and spread theories about conspiracies against society by Jews or party enemies.

In the case of National Socialism, Arendt exemplifies the meaning of this phenomenon through The Protocols of the Sages of Sion . One has to wonder how it is possible that this obvious falsification became the “Bible of a mass movement”. 87 With the belief in the “world Jewish conspiracy” and its modern elements, solutions to modern problems could be transmitted. “They are specifically the modern elements to which the Protocols owe their extraordinary actuality, are those that have a stronger effect than the mixture of old superstitions, much more banal.” 88

Also in Stalinism finds anti-Semitic traits that follow the Nazi model. The reference to a Jewish world conspiracy in the sense of The Sages of Zion , the change of meaning of the term ” Zionism, ” which included all non-Zionist organizations and therefore all Jews, lent itself better to the realization of aspirations for world domination that capitalism or imperialism , thanks to pre – existing anti – Semitic resentment in the population. 89

After the “movements” took over, according to the author, propaganda was replaced by indoctrination . Terror now was not only directed against the supposed enemies, but also against the friends who had become uncomfortable. The delivery of the faithful members came to such an extent that they were willing to sacrifice their lives for the leader or the party at any time. Arendt exemplified in the attitude of the defendants in the Moscow trials .

The lies about the “conspirators,” argues Arendt, were not weakened by its obviousness:

“Thus, neither the apparent impotence of the Jews against their extermination succeeded in destroying the fable about the omnipotence of the Jews or the liquidation of the Trotskyites in Russia and the assassination of Trotsky managed to destroy the fable of the plot of the Trotskyists against The Soviet Union. ” 90

Terror as the essence of totalitarianism

During the period of National Socialism, Arendt continues, the apparatus of power was established in its totality, uniform and, little by little, structured in an increasingly radical and inscrutable way. The “right to murder”, together with methods to eliminate knowledge of society, became the visible worldview.

“That the Nazis wanted to conquer the world, expel” alien “peoples and” extirpate the biologically disabled “was as little secret as the world revolution and the plans for world conquest of Russian Bolshevism. » 91

While the Nazis always maintained the fiction of the Jewish world conspiracy, the Bolsheviks changed their fiction on several occasions: the world Trotskyist conspiracy, passing through imperialism , to the conspiracy of the ‘ rootless cosmopolitans ‘, etc. The instrument of power of Stalin was the transformation of communist parties in subsidiaries Comintern Russian, dominated by Moscow. Within the “totalitarian world” dominated the police apparatus in the form of secret police , OGPU or Gestapo .

The number of Jews or other groups killed in Nazi extermination and concentration camps or those killed in the “war of predation” are demonstrable. From sources Arendt possessed, a precise quantification of the victims of Stalinism was not possible. The killings ranged from settlements in the gulag , to losses during the collectivization of land , the Moscow trials or general cleaning of the entire bureaucracy. Arendt relied, inter alia, on information from contemporary Russian young intellectuals on ” purges massive, kidnapping and extermination of entire peoples.” 92

Hannah Arendt describes the concentration and extermination camps as institutions of experimentation that served to eliminate people, humiliation of individuals and to demonstrate that human beings can be totally dominated. Identity, plurality and spontaneity were to be annihilated. The fields were central to the conservation of power; The crimes and cruelties were so frightful, the terror so great, that they easily found incredible to those who were not involved. In fact, the truth of the victims offended common sense . Hitler’s “announcements,” “repeated hundreds of times, saying that the Jews were parasites to be exterminated,” were not believed.

Terror in the face of the “radical evil” brings with it the knowledge that there is no political, historical or moral measure for this.

Concentration camps are always outside the normal penal system. They are based on “homicide of the legal person “. The human being is reduced to: “Jew,” “bacillus carrier,” “exponent of disappearing classes.” In the case of criminals and political prisoners, according to Arendt, the annihilation of the legal person is not entirely possible, “because they know why they are there”. But most of the prisoners were completely innocent. Precisely those were liquidated in the gas chambers , while the real enemies of the regime were often killed before. 93 The “disappearance of the rights” of the human being is a “precondition for its total control” and is valid for any inhabitant of a totalitarian system.

To this is added the “murder of the moral person .” It is a system of forgetting, which reached even the family circles and friends of those affected. Death was anonymous. To act morally and questions of conscience were not possible. Arendt cites the report of Albert Camus on a woman whom the Nazis made him choose which of her three children should be killed.

The only thing left to avoid the conversion of people into “living corpses” is the preservation of “difference, identity.” Hannah Arendt is well aware of the conditions in transport to the fields, the decalvación , naked, torture and murder. While the SA assassinated with “hatred” and “blind brutality,” murder in the concentration camp was an “act of mechanized annihilation”, partly without “individual bestiality” by ordinary people, who had been educated to belong To the SS . 94

Terror, as the essence of a totalitarian government, initially produces a peculiar force of attraction over uprooted modern people, to later make the denser masses and destroy all relations between people. The principle is ideology, “internal coercion,” reinterpreted and assimilated in such a way that people, full of fear, despair and abandonment, are driven to their own death, if “self” belongs, after all, To ‘superfluous’ or ‘parasites’. 95

In the end, Arendt emphasizes that total dominance, totalitarianism, does not collapse in a long process, but does so suddenly, denying the followers their participation in the crimes and even their membership in the movement.

The human condition ( active Vita )

Unlike Heidegger, Arendt based his thought on the birth of the individual rather than on death. His second major work, The Human Condition , The Human Condition , published in 1958 and translated into German by herself with the title Vita active oder Vom tätigen Leben (1960), 96 is dedicated to the philosophy and her Hannah Arendt develops this Idea of ​​birth.

With the birth begins the ability to make a new beginning. The individual has the task of configuring the world, in connection with other people. It refers to the basic conditions of human life, which Arendt confines to “work, produce, act” ( Arbeiten, Herstellen, Handeln ). It distinguishes from that the ” essence ” or “nature” of the human being, which is not possible to define conceptually and are not accessible to human knowledge. Attempts to define them end “usually with some kind of constructions of something divine.” 97

Action is, from its point of view, more closely linked to birth than to work and to produce.

Work and produce

The work serves to keep the individual and the species. Consequently, labor necessarily belongs to human life, but also to every other living being. The work is not, as Arendt considers it, linked to freedom, but represents a constraint to the conservation of life, which continually underlies man, from birth to death.

On the basis of work, the individual begins to reflect on the finitude of his existence. To escape this certainty, man erects an artificial world, parallel to the natural world, for which he produces objects of different materials. Arendt assumes that this world is stable and that the individual can build personal relationships with the objects and phenomena produced. One example is the feeling of “going home”. In a world in constant change, the human being can not feel at home.

The distinction made by Arendt between arbeiten ( “work”) and herstellen ( “produce”, “producing”) also refers to the production ( Produktion ). As a product of labor ( Produkte der Arbeit ) it refers to consumer goods, which are ‘consumed’, whereas products of manufacture or construction ( Produkte des Herstellens ) are those which are ‘needy’ or ‘used’ ( gebraucht ).


Finally, the action , das Handeln , insofar as it serves the foundation and conservation of the political community, creates the conditions for a continuity of generations, for the memory and, thus, for history. It occurs between individuals and at the same time shows the singularity, difference and pluralism of the human being. The unique human being can, according to Arendt, survive in a society without ever working or producing something by itself.

The action consists in the political interaction, which is fundamental for Arendt. Communication, that is, “finding the right word at the right time”, is action. “Change is only violence and, for this reason alone, violence alone can never claim greatness.” 98 Arendt stresses that although the individual knows that he is a human being, without action he will not be recognized as such by others. The title chosen for the German edition, Vita activa , refers to this course of thoughts.

The action takes place in the public space. For Arendt, the clearest way of its realization was in the polis Greek, where work was set in the private space of the home , with all the consequences of despotism, while the action took place in the public space of the agora . This public place was the one of the active vita , of the communication, the conformation and the political freedom between equals.

From the process of understanding in the political space to the mass society

On the contrary, according to Arendt, during the Middle Ages a displacement took place on the basis of Christian dogmatics . The ultimate freedom to humans was then in the ” contemplative vita ” addressed to God. In it, the element of artisan or artistic manufacture was valued above (philosophical) thought and (political) action. The man became the Homo faber , that is, the creator of an artificial world. The “dumb awe” which from ancient philosophy was regarded as “the beginning and the end of all philosophy” and which was only accessible to a few, lost meaning in favor of the “intuitive and contemplative gaze of artisan workers.” 99

Arendt criticizes Western Christian philosophy. Although most philosophers expressed themselves on political issues, practically none took immediate part of the political discourse. He considered Machiavelli as the only exception . Although with Hegel the political underwent a revaluation, Arendt is directed mainly against the idea of ​​Hegel of the necessity of the historical development. The idea of ​​the absolute as the goal of history leads to ideology, as well as to the justification of undemocratic practices and, finally, to forms of totalitarianism.

The modern individual also moves away from the political because of the “radical subjectivity of his emotional life” because of “interminable internal conflicts.” Individuals are socially normalized ; Deviations from that rule are dismissed as asocial or abnormal. You get to the phenomenon of mass society , with the dominance of the bureaucracy . In the process the classes and social groupings are equalized and controlled with the same power. Equalization, conformism in the public, leads to the characteristic and “particularity” becoming private affairs of individuals. Great masses of people develop the tendency to despotism , either of an individual, or of the majority. 100

Also in the idea of ​​Heidegger’s historicity as a fundamental condition of human existence, the author finds that thought is anchored in contemplation. An ” active vita “, however, implies asking questions about the principles of the political and the conditions of freedom. Arendt, like Jaspers, saw the moral philosophy of Kant, in which the question of the conditions of human plurality was at the forefront, as an approximation to this. Kant had not only regarded legislators and judges as statesmen and philosophers, but all human beings, and had thus come to the demand of a republic, to which the researcher adheres.

In this work, Arendt studies the historical transformation of concepts such as freedom, equality, happiness, public space, privacy , society and politics, and accurately describes the change of meaning in the corresponding historical context. Its benchmark is the Ancient Greece , in particular, the time of Socratic dialogue . According to his view, the lost spaces of the modified political must be anchored in the present and, with this, to try to make fertile the capacities of the free individuals who think and act in a political way, and who try to distinguish each other . Arendt sees as contrary to this the widespread behaviorism , whose aim is to “reduce” the human being in all his activities “to the level of a living being conditioned everywhere and behaving accordingly.” 101

About the revolution

In the book On Revolution (1963, published in German in 1965 under the title Über die Revolution ) analyzes and interprets the revolutions French and American , but also mentions other. It criticizes the societies that emerged from those revolutions. It uses a concept of “revolution” different from the usual. Its main objective is to determine the essential characteristics of the ‘revolutionary spirit’. It recognizes these as the possibility of beginning something new and the common action of the human being.

In der Sprache des 18. Jahrhunderts heißen [die Prinzipien des revolutionären Geistes] öffentliche Freiheit, öffentliches Glück, öffentlicher Geist. In the language of the eighteenth century, [the principles of the revolutionary spirit] are called public liberty, public happiness and public spirit.
Arendt 102

Arendt raises the question of why the “spirit of the revolution” found no institution and therefore lost. For this question, part of Thomas Jefferson who, after his term as the third president of the United States , reflected in his correspondence on what happened. As a proposed solution, Arendt contemplates Jefferson’s ward-system , which he also calls ” Elementarrepubliken “, “Elemental Republics”.

According to Jefferson, after the American Revolution and the introduction of the Constitution , there was no institution in which the people could contribute anything to public affairs. The ancestral relationship between rulers and ruled had been maintained. Before and during the American Revolution the town could actively participate in political events in townhalls , town halls. The immigrants made good use of that possibility. However, after the Revolution, people retreated more and more into their private lives, pursued their private interests and were less interested in public affairs.

As an alternative to the democracy of representative parties, Arendt prefers a republic of workers’ councils or soviets . The representative democracy is not able to let the people participate in political life. Based on the experiences after World War I , it said that the multiparty system is still less attractive than the two – party system English or American, as it keeps inside the character of the one – party dictatorship .

Elements of the system of workers’ councils appear according to Arendt in almost all revolutions, until February and March 1848 . He describes the councils as peaceful, nonpartisan, and interested in building a new state. The parties , whether left-wing or right-wing or revolutionary, saw the councils and soviets strong competition, and so they provoked agitation against them, and in the end they always had the possibility of annihilating them with the help of the state.

Hannah Arendt preferred this political system to direct democracy , because democracy party man feels as governed, and that was not exactly the direction of revolutions. On the other hand, the possibility of political participation at different levels is much closer to Arendt’s ideas of politics, which emphasizes:

Daß keiner glücklich genannt werden kann, der nicht an öffentlichen Angelegenheiten teilnimmt, daß niemand frei ist, der nicht aus Erfahrung weiß, was öffentliche Freiheit ist, und daß niemand frei oder glücklich ist, der keine Macht hat, nämlich keinen Anteil an öffentlicher Macht. That one can not be called happy to those who do not participate in public affairs, that no one is free if he does not know from experience what public freedom is and that no one is free or happy if he has no power, that is, no participation in the public Power.
Arendt 103

To think, to want, to judge

The works Das Denken ( “Thinking”) and Das Wollen ( “Loving”) was published posthumously in 1989, being published again in 1998 in the anthology Vom Leben des Geistes ( “On the life of the spirit”). This work is based in turn on the classes given by Arendt from 1973 to 1974. The third part, Das Urteilen (“The Judgment”), was compiled by the political scientist Ronald Beiner based on the manuscripts of Arendt’s lectures on Kant, Especially those of 1970, after some preparation of the material by Mary McCarthy, the administrator of the legacy.

Arendt does not want, as he writes in the introduction, with this pretentious title to act as “philosopher”, as “professional thinker” (according to the expression of Kant 104 ), but neither leave the thought exclusively to these. The origin of his studies was, among others, the book on Eichmann, in which he analyzed the “monstrous acts” of a “ordinary” and “unthinking” malefactor. This led to the question whether thought, that is, the habit of investigating everything, regardless of results, belongs to the conditions that protect the human being from doing evil. 105


In his work on Thinking , Arendt expands the ideas of active Vita ( The human condition ), describing from now on the ” contemplative life “, that is, intellectual activities, as his equal or even as superior to that. He tries to corroborate his claims in Eichmann’s book on the “banality of evil” with the thesis that these types of evil acts are related to the “defect of thought “, with “irreflexivity” ( Gedankenlosigkeit ). It raises the following question:

Könnte vielleicht das Denken als solches – die Gewohnheit, alles zu untersuchen, was sich begibt oder die Aufmerksamkeit erregt, ohne Rücksicht auf die Ergebnisse und den speziellen Inhalt – zu den Bedingungen gehören, die die Menschen davon abhalten oder geradezu dagegen prädisponieren, Böses zu tun ? Could perhaps thought as such – the habit of investigating everything that happens or draws attention without taking into account the results and their special content – belong to the conditions that prevent or otherwise predispose to humans to do the wrong?
Arendt 106

As a motto he placed in the introduction a small text of Was heißt Denken? (“What does it mean to think?”) Of Heidegger, which emphasizes the meaning of thought itself.

Again, Arendt pursues the concepts going back to its origin. Ethics and morals , according to Arendt, are the Greek and Roman expressions for custom and habit. The term (German) Gewissen (moral conscience), on the other hand, means “to know oneself” and belongs to all processes of thought. He considers that only “good people” are capable of developing a bad conscience, while criminals usually have a good conscience. Ethics and moral (literally: customs and habits) would match, in essence, the premise contrary.

Since antiquity, thought is a form of action. Arendt differentiates his understanding of the thought of both Plato and Aristotle , who understood thought as passive observation, as of Christianity , which made philosophy the maid of theology and thought in meditation and contemplation. It is also critical of the modern approach, in which thought serves primarily empirical science . Consider the math , as pure thought, as the “queen of the sciences.” 107Criticizes the hegemony of the natural sciences as a model of explanation for all phenomena, including social and political phenomena, and points out the importance of reflection on the limitations of human life.

The meaning of thought in public life, which is increasingly transformed into working life, goes back a great deal. The ” active vita ‘, producing and acting, due to the” contemplative vita ‘, the search for meaning, initially especially during the Middle Ages – was a priority. Consequently the human being falls into a dilemma because, on the one hand, precisely emphasizes individuality in mass society democratic, but, on the other, the mass society places limits on the discussion in the public space.

In this treatise, based on his notes for his lessons, he comments on the thoughts of numerous philosophers who have reasoned about thought-as contemplation of being. In this context, he treated his great thinkers as if they were contemporaries, just as Jaspers did.

While thought is present as something invisible in all experience and tends to generalize, the other two spiritual activities are much closer to the world of phenomena, the ” Erscheinungswelt “, because it is always about the “individual”: to make judgments About the past, whose results are a preparation for the will.

The will

According to Arendt, the will lies in the appetite of creatures, as well as in rational thought. It emphasizes the meaning of the will as the talent of the human being to overcome the old to be able to start with the new. This will, together with the “birth” of human beings who are not equal, but who think differently (” Differenz “), enables liberty on the one hand, but on the other, it contains the danger of spontaneous and intuitive action. He makes clear: “the free actions of the human being are infrequent”. 108

Along with its history, Arendt pursues the concept of the will. It would have been unknown in ancient Greece and would have gained great significance only in modern times, in relation to that of interiority (‘inner experience’).

In parallel, he investigates the will as an internal faculty of the human being to decide with which figure he wants to show himself to the phenomenal world (” Erscheinungswelt “). According to this, the will creates with its projects the “person”, so to speak, who can be held responsible for his character (his complete “being”). Here it is distinguished from the influential thesis Marxists and existentialists , who consider man as creator of himself. This false conclusion corresponds to the modern insistence on the will as a substitute for thought.

The judgment

As it did thirty years ago in his work on the existential philosophy of Heidegger and Jaspers, Arendt takes no position on the problem of universals medieval and again in favor of nominalism . In his fragment Das Urteilen. Texte zu politischer Kants Philosophie ( “The trial. Texts on the political philosophy of Kant ‘), published posthumously without permission, reflects on carrying out judgments as subjective. He studies the theory of “aesthetic judgment” in the Critique of Judgment Kant, considering the aesthetic judgment as a model for impeachment. This judgment is based on thought without the mediation of a concept or a system. As an example, Arendt mentions that when you qualify a beautiful rose, you get to that judgment without going through the generalization that all roses are beautiful and that therefore is also. 109 So there is no category of roses or a nature of the rose, rather just the individual rose, which is judged by each person from his personal perspective. The knowledge of the different points of view is designated by Arendt as “representative thought”. This thought presupposes taking a position in the world that is not one’s own, without abandoning one’s identity.

Judgments are not, therefore, based on a determined and internalized moral representation. The ability to judge the human disposition, as Arendt understands, has something to do with the capacity to act, to take the point of view of the other and, in the process, to abstract from one’s own will. 110


Germany stamp celebrating the centenary of Arendt’s birth in 2006.

Arendt became famous with his book The origins of totalitarianism . This work, which now belongs to the canon of political formation, brought many supports and innumerable invitations to conferences. “It was the first theoretician who understood totalitarianism as a new form of political power in the history of mankind .” 111 It served in part as a basis for an expanded concept of totalitarianism and as an argument against the post-Stalinist Soviet Union during the Cold War . As a result, he was criticized again and again by socialists rather orthodox.

However, in the academic sphere and also in part of the leftist intelligentsia, both his studies on Nazism and his early analyzes of Stalinism as a totalitarian system were not only appreciated. Especially in the USA. UU. and in France these debates fostered the birth of a New Left undogmatic.

The American scholar and activist Palestinian Edward Said , whose work focuses on postcolonialism , considered Hannah Arendt as one of the theoreticians of imperialism that guide both “imperialist way anti – imperialist”, based on the criticism of Arendt writer Joseph Conrad in The Origins of Totalitarism . 112

His teacher, Karl Jaspers, described the book in the preface to the third edition as “historiography of great style.” He commented that it had been elaborated with the means of historical research and sociological analysis. The work would give “the deep vision through which a form of philosophical thought begins to be able to judge in the political reality”. According to Jaspers, Arendt does not give advice, but transmits knowledge that serve human dignity and reason .

Especially in the 1960s, his report on the process to Eichmann in Jerusalem produced a great controversy. Eichmann’s memoirs, 113 showing its strong and substantive anti – Semitism, were not yet available for Arendt when he wrote both stories as the book. Most critics point out today that Arendt underestimated Eichmann’s anti-Semitism as a motivation. The work is still often rejected or ignored, but at the same time it finds more and more recognition and attention – like all the works of Arendt. For example, Jan Philipp Reemtsma pointed out in 1998 that since the book on Eichmann de Arendt, or even before, trying to explain with the disease the actions of the perpetrator (“pathologización del criminal”) was no longer valid . 114

Sociologist Hauke Brunkhorst studied in 1999 the relation between Habermas and Arendt. In the 1970s “Jürgen Habermas discovered the coincidences of his theory of communicative action with Arendt’s theory of power and violence, creating the concept of” communicative power. ” But Habermas kept his distance with “the aristotelismo Arendt and […] with his criticism of the French Revolution.” The disciples of Habermas Dubiel , Ulrich Rödel and Günther Frankenberg attempted, in their work Die demokratische Frage (1990, “The democratic question”) “to repair with Arendt’s help the democratic deficit of the old critical theory “. 115 Thus, according Brunkhorst, began the great influence of Hannah Arendt in the 1980s, when the civil society ( civil society ) was the order of the day. The occasion was, on the one hand, the political neoliberal of Ronald Reagan and Margaret Thatcher and, secondly, the policy of the Soviet Union.

Seyla Benhabib wonders how the rebirth of Arendt is explained. “After the fall of authoritarian communism, and since Marxist theory has been in decline all over the world, Hannah Arendt’s thinking has emerged as the critical political theory of the post-totalitarian moment.” Also for feminism modern Arendt is “an impressive example and secrecy of one of our” previous mothers . ‘ ” 116 In contrast, the feminist movement of the 1970s and 1980s barely referred to their works.

In recent years, Ralf Dahrendorf has included Hannah Arendt with reservations among the few freethinking and independent humanist thinkers of the previous century.

Commemorative plaque (2006) in the Arendt house in Heidelberg, Schlossberg 16, under the Castle of Heidelberg .

Arendt was often reproached for having underestimated the social question . In 1972 he responded in a conversation with friends that, for example, housing construction was a matter of administration, but it also contained political aspects, such as the problem of integration. 117 She herself increasingly restricted explicitly their thinking to the political, radically putting into question the traditions and world views.

Elisabeth Young-Bruehl says Arendt the political concept of forgiveness and new beginning was implemented fifteen years after his death on the Commission of Truth and reconciliation in South Africa :

“His ideas about forgiveness and his book on Eichmann influenced and were reflected in the action, the new beginning, brought by the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, which for the first time in history turned forgiveness into a guiding principle for a state. ” 118

There is no philosophical school or policy that goes back to Hannah Arendt. His extensive and varied work offers the possibility of choosing paragraphs and quotes to justify his own point of view. In his own words, unlike many other important contemporary intellectuals, he was never socialist or communist, but neither completely Zionist, nor could he be included in any other scheme. This is why for a long time only a few scientists, such as Ernst Vollrath , 119 studied in depth the complete work of Arendt. This has changed radically in recent years. At the time of postmodernist , his “thinking without banisters” single is rather appreciated, among other reasons because, as often noted, his vital and intellectual way show a great coincidence.


Since 1995 the Hannah Arendt Prize has been awarded to political thought, funded by the city of Bremen and the Heinrich Böll Foundation . 120

Since 1993 the association “Hannah Arendt Institute for the study of totalitarianism” (Hannah-Arendt-Institut für Totalitarismusforschung eV, HAIT) has been working in Dresden . The aim of the Institute is to study “totalitarian dictatorships in their own right”. Historians and sociologists must analyze empirically the political and social structures of Nazism and the regime of the German Democratic Republic . The Institute also holds conferences on Hannah Arendt and promotes posthumous publications. The director until 2008, Gerhard Besier , controversial because of its proximity to Scientology , wrote in Die Welt on Arendt: “Logical thinking, a concise concept, a clear and matured construction. These things were not his forte» 121

In Zurich , where Arendt read his paper Freiheit und Politik (“Freedom and Politics”) in 1958, 122 were held annually from 1996 to 2000 the Hannah Arendt Days, which dealt with his political thinking, each year from a new point of view. Since 1998 there are also similar events in Hanover every summer, the results of which are published. 123

In the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg , Antonia Grunenberg founded in 1999, Hannah Arendt Center. 124 It has originals or copies of most of the documents bequeathed by Hannah Arendt. In addition, they publish the Hannah Arendt Studien , in form of book collection. To this must be added the days and other events on the works of Hannah Arendt and in general on the intellectual life of the twentieth century. The Hungarian Hannah Arendt Society, which has been in operation since 1997, is primarily aimed at educators and is responsible, among other things, for formulating a new definition of Human Rights, relying on Arendt’s thesis that mass and industrial murder was only Possible because Human Rights had no philosophical foundation, nor had they forged a political form, but were simply proclaimed. 125 Wolfgang Heuer published in Berlin on Hannah-Arendt-Newsletter with contributions in German, English and sometimes in French, which have been published unpublished works of Arendt. 126

Approximately since the turn of the century one can speak of a real explosion of Arendt’s thinking in Germany. In Hanover, Marburg and Heidelberg commemorative plaques have been placed in their places of residence. It has given its name to some schools, 127 streets and squares. There are public events, symposiums and exhibitions in his honor. In commemoration of the 30th anniversary of his death in 2005, and shortly afterwards, in commemoration of his 100th birthday, countless articles and books were published. At universities and other research centers, they became interested in Hannah Arendt, apart from philosophers, political scientists, and other scholars of the social sciences, as well as historians and philologists.

The asteroid 100027 Hannaharendt received its name (1990) in honor to the author. 128

The Institute of Cultural and Political Education that Elisa Carrió founded in May 2004 in the City of Buenos Aires is named after Hannah Arendt . 129

Works (selection)

  • 1929 : The concept of love in St. Augustine: Essay on a philosophical interpretation . Doctoral thesis, directed by Karl Jaspers. Trad. of Agustín Serrano . Madrid, Encuentro, 2001, ISBN 978-84-7490-632-5 . The Spanish version has been translated from Love and Saint Augustine , edited by Joanna Vecchiarelli Scott and Judith Chelius Stark, University Presses of Chicago, 1996. The original German version is titled Der Liebesbegriff bei Augustin. Versuch einer philosophischen Interpretation . Berlin, 1929. Reprinted by Philo Verlagsgesellschaft, Berlin, 2003, ISBN 3-86572-343-8 .
  • 1951 The origins of totalitarianism . Trad. By Guillermo Solana. Taurus, 1974. Translation reissued by Alianza Editorial, 2006, with prologue by Salvador Giner ISBN 978-84-206-4771-5 . Orig. In English, The Origins of Totalitarianism ; New York, 1951; German version: Elemente und Ursprünge totaler Herrschaft , Frankfurt am Main, 1955; 10th ed. Piper, Munich, 2003 { ISBN 3-492-21032-5 }.
  • 1958 Rahel Varnhagen : life of a Jewish woman . Trad. By Daniel Najmías. Barcelona, ​​Lumen, 2000 ( ISBN 978-84-264-4958-0 ). Edic. Orig. In English: Rahel Varnhagen: The Life of a Jewess , London, 1958; Vers. German. Rahel Varnhagen: Lebensgeschichte einer deutschen Jüdin aus der Romantik . Piper, Munich, 1959; Reissues in German: 1981, 1998 { ISBN 3-492-20230-6 }.
  • 1958 The human condition . Trad. Ramón Gil. Barcelona, ​​Paidós, 1993 ( ISBN 84-7509-855-X ). Edic. Orig. In English: The Human Condition , University Press, Chicago, 1958. Ed. In German: Vita activa oder vom tätigen Leben , Kohlhammer, Stuttgart, 1960; Piper, Munich, 1967, 3rd ed. 2002 ( ISBN 3-492-23623-5 ).
  • 1961 Eichmann in Jerusalem. A study on the banality of evil . Trad. By Carlos Ribalta. Barcelona, ​​Lumen, 1967, 1999, 2003 ( ISBN 978-84-264-1345-1 ). English: Eichmann in Jerusalem: a Report on the Banality of Evil (1963), originally published in the magazine New Yorker . German version: Eichmann in Jerusalem. Ein Bericht von der Banalität des Bösen , Piper, Munich, 1964; 14th edic. 1986 ( ISBN 3-492-20308-6 ).
  • 1961 Between the past and the future. Eight exercises on political reflection . Trad. Ana Poljak. Península, 1993, 2003 ( ISBN 84-8307-535-0 ). German version: Zwischen Vergangenheit und Zukunft. Übungen im politischen Denken I , compilation of texts of 1954-1964 edited by Ursula Ludz, Piper, Munich, 1994, 2nd edic. Revised 2000 ( ISBN 3-492-21421-5 ). It includes, among others, Between Past and Future (1961, extended in 1968); Die Krise in Der Erziehung (1958), Wahrheit und Politik (1967).
  • 1963 On the revolution . Trad. Pedro Bravo. Revista de Occidente, 1967. Reprinted by Alianza Editorial, 1998, 2004. ISBN 84-206-5806-5 . Original in English: On Revolution , New York, 1963; German version: Über Die Revolution , Piper, Munich, 1963, 4th ed. 2000 ( ISBN 3-492-21746-X ).
  • 1968 Men in times of darkness . Trad. Claudia Ferrari. Barcelona, ​​Gedisa, 1990. In German: Menschen in finsteren Zeiten . Essays and other texts (1955-1975) edited by Ursula Ludz, Piper, Munich, 2001 { ISBN 3-492-23355-4 }. (Original text: Men in Dark Times , New York, 1968.
  • 1969 “Martin Heidegger, the octogenarian”, Revista de Occidente , nº 84, pp. 261 fs. Also in “Martin Heidegger or thought as pure activity”, Archipelago , No. 9, 1992 (“Martin Heidegger ist achtzig Jahre alt”, Merkur 23, no. 10, pp. 893-902).
  • 1969 Crisis of the Republic . Trad. By Guillermo Solana. Madrid, Taurus, 1973, 1988. ( Crisis of the Republic ).
  • 1970 On violence . Trad. By Guillermo Solana. Madrid, Alianza Editorial, 2005. ISBN 84-206-5980-0 ( On Violence , New York and London, 1970. German version of Gisella Uellenberg revised by the author: Macht und Gewalt , Piper, Munich, 1970; ( ISBN 3-492-20001-X ).
  • 1972 Crisis of the Republic , includes “The lie in politics”, “Civil disobedience”, “On the violence” and “Politics and Revolution. Trad. By Teresa Arijon and Edgardo Russo. Buenos Aires, The silver bowl, 2005. ISBN 978-987-3743-40-5 (Crises of the Republic, New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, 1972).
  • 1978 The life of the spirit . Trad. Fernando Montoro and Ricardo Vallespín. Madrid, Center for Constitutional Studies, 1984. Trad. Reissued by Paidós in Barcelona. ISBN 978-84-493-1251-9 . Work published posthumously (based on the Gifford conferences of 1972-1974), first in English: The Life of the Mind , New York, 1978; In German: Vom Leben des Geistes . Vol. 1 Das Denken ; Vol. 2 Das Wollen ; Piper, Munich, 1979; Also in a single volume (Piper, 1998, 2002) ( ISBN 3-492-22555-1 ).
  • 1978 The Jew as a Pariah: Jewish Identity and Politics in the Modern Age .
  • 1982 Lectures on Kant’s political philosophy . Trad. Scored by Carmen Corral. Barcelona, ​​Paidós, 2003 { ISBN 84-493-1387-2 }. Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy , Chicago, 1982. German version: Das Urteilen. Texte zu Kants politischer Philosophie , Piper, Munich, 1985, ISBN 3-492-22560-8 . Lessons from 1970, published posthumously.
  • 1997 “What is politics?”. Translation by Rosa Sala Carbó. Barcelona, ​​Paidós, 1997. ISBN 84-493-0405-9 . Original title: “Was ist Politik? Aus dem NachlaB” (1993. R. Pipper GmbH & Co. KG, Munich).
  • 2002 Philosophical Journal 1950-1973 . Trad. Scored by Raúl Gabás. Barcelona, ​​Herder, 2006. 2 vols (Vol. I: ‘Philosophical Diary 1950-1973’, pages 1 to 800. Vol II: ‘Notes and appendices’, pages 801 to 1174). ISBN 84-254-2340-6 ( Denktagebuch 1950-1973, edited by Usula Ludz and Ingeborg Nordmann, 2 volumes Piper Verlag, Munich and Zürich, 2002 ISBN 3-492-04429-8 ).
  • 2003 Responsibility and judgment . Ed. Jerome Kohn. Barcelona, ​​Paidós, 2007. ISBN 978-84-493-1993-8 ( Responsibility and Judgment , Random House, 2003, ISBN 978-0-8052-4212-6 ).
  • Hannah Arendt / Martin Heidegger: Correspondence 1925-1975 and other documents of the bequests . Edited by Úrsula Ludz. Translation by Adan Kovacsics. Editorial Herder, Barcelona, ​​2000. ISBN 84-254-2109-8 . ( Briefe 1925 bis 1975 und andere Zeugnisse , Vittorio Klostermann GmbH, Frankfurt am Main, 1999).
  • Hannah Arendt / Karl Jaspers: Correspondence 1926-1969 . Published in 1992 by Lotte Köhler and Hans Saner: Correspondence 1926-1969 , New York; In German: Briefwechsel 1926-1969 , Piper, Munich, 2001, ISBN 3-492-21757-5 .
  • Hannah Arendt / Mary McCarthy: Among friends. Correspondence between Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy . Edition, introduction and prologue by Carol Brightman. Translation by Ana María Becciú. Barcelona, ​​Lumen, 1999 (there is a reprint in 2006). ISBN 978-84-264-1611-7 . ( Between Friends: The Correspondence of Hannah Arendt and Mary McCarthy 1949-1975, New York, Secker & Warburg, 1995, German: Im Vertrauen, Briefwechsel 1949-1975 , Munich, 1995, ISBN 3-492-22475-X ).
  • Comprehension tests. 1930 – 1954 . Trad. Of Agustín Serrano de Haro, Alfredo Serrano de Haro and Gaizka Larrañaga Argárate. Madrid, Caparrós editores, 2005. Volume with 41 texts of diverse extension and origin (articles, reviews of books, conferences, interviews).
  • Karl Marx and the tradition of Western political thought . Trad. By Agustín Serrano de Haro. Madrid, Encuentro, 2007.
  • 2014 “The great tradition” , Eunomía: magazine in culture of the legality , num. 6. Trad. Alfonso Ballesteros.
  • Walter Benjamin; Bertolt Brecht; Hermann Broch; Rosa Luxemburg . Translation by Luis Izquierdo and José Cano Tembleque. Anagram, Barcelona, ​​1971. 204 pp. (Original: Men in Dark Times , Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc., New York, 1968).


  1. Back to top↑ «Voice: Hannah Arendt» . Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (in English) . Retrieved on September 25, 2009 .
  2. Back to top↑ Sontheimer, p. twenty-one
  3. Back to top↑ Sontheimer, p. 24. In his biography of Heidegger , R. Safranski says, however, that Arendt had read Kant said work at seventeen (cf. a master of Germany. Martin Heidegger and his time . Barcelona, Tusquets, 1997 { ISBN 84 -8310-032-0 }, p. 170).
  4. Back to top↑ Sontheimer, p. 25
  5. Back to top↑ Sontheimer, p. 28
  6. Back to top↑ Cf. Rüdiger Safranski , A teacher from Germany. Martin Heidegger and his time . Barcelona, ​​Tusquets, 1997 ( ISBN 84-8310-032-0 ), p. 172: “Hannah [Arendt] accepts [in 1924] the rules of the game established by Heidegger. The most important thing was strict secrecy. His wife should know nothing of her, nor anyone in the university and in the small town. “
  7. Back to top↑ Die Korrespondenz: Hannah Arendt, Kurt Blumenfeld. Hamburg 1995, p. 52.
  8. Back to top↑ Elisabeth Young-Bruehl: Hannah Arendt. Leben und Zeit. Frankfurt am Main, 1986, p. 123-127.
  9. Back to top↑ Ursula Ludz (ed.), Hannah Arendt / Martin Heidegger, Briefe 1925-1975 . Frankfurt aM, Vittorio Klostermann, 1999², pp. 50 s. (Letter of Heidegger to Arendt of 18 of October of 1925).
  10. Back to top↑ Philosophie und Soziologie. Rezension , in: Die Gesellschaft , vol. 7, 1, 1930, 163-176.
  11. Back to top↑ Aufklärung und Judenfrage. In: Geschichte der Juden in Deutschland. 4th year, number 2/3, Berlin 1932. Again in: HA, Die verborgene Tradition. Acht Essays . Suhrkamp 1976, pp. 108-126. In English in: HA, Jewish Writings . Ed. Jerome Kohn & Ron Feldman. Schocken, New York, 2007.
  12. Back to top↑ Rezension über Alice Rühle-Gerstel: Das Frauenproblem in der Gegenwart. Eine psychologische Bilanz. In: Gesellschaft , year 10, n ° 2, 1932, p. 177-179.
  13. Back to top↑ Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers: Briefwechsel 1926-1969 . Munich, 2001, pp. 52s.
  14. Return to top↑ Transskript des Interviews Arendt-Gaus , 1964. For more information on his Judaism see Iris Pilling: Denken und Handeln als Jüdin. Hannah Arendts politische Theorie vor 1950. Frankfurt am Main 1996; And Michael Daxner (2006):Die jüdische Gestalt von Hannah Arendt .
  15. Back to top↑ Transskript des Interviews Arendt-Gaus , 1964.
  16. Back to top↑ Arendt to Jaspers, p. 126 (mid-1947)
  17. Back to top↑ Wolfgang Heuer: Hannah Arendt . Reinbek bei Hamburg 1987, p. 31.
  18. Back to top↑ Elisabeth Young-Bruehl, pp. 223ss. And, with some minor difference, Katrin T. Tenenbaum (University of Rome) in his clarifications to the correspondence, edited by her (2005), between Arendt and Adler-Rudel (see the translation of the German text at hannaharendt.net ).
  19. Back to top↑ Correspondence between H. Arendt and S. Adler-Rudel , letter dated April 2, 1941.
  20. Back to top↑ Illuminations. Walter Benjamin. Essays and Reflections. (Ed. Hannah Arendt) Schocken, New York 1969.
  21. Back to top↑ Elisabeth Young-Bruehl pp. 250ss.
  22. Back to top↑ In: Zur Zeit. Politische Essays. Hamburg 1999, pp. 43-70. The article was initially edited only in EE. UU.
  23. Back to top↑ Arendt to Jaspers, November 11, 1946, p. 103.
  24. Back to top↑ Frieden oder Waffenstillstand im Nahen Osten . In: Israel, Palästina und der Antisemitismus. Aufsätze . Berlin 1991, pp. 39-75.
  25. Back to top↑ In the edition mentioned above: Juda Leib Magnes
  26. Back to top↑ Hannah Arendt et al. : ‘Der Besuch Menahem Begins und die Ziele seiner politischen Bewegung. Offener Brief an die “New York Times”, in: Israel, Palästina … pp. 117s.
  27. Back to top↑ In German, Überlebensleidenschaft .
  28. Back to top↑ Hannah Arendt, Mary McCarthy: Im Vertrauen. Briefwechsel 1949-1975 . Munich 1997, pp. 365s. (Oct 1969)
  29. Back to top↑ Arendt to Jaspers, p. 134.
  30. Back to top↑ Op. Cit. , p. 968.
  31. Back to top↑ Op. Cit. , p. 614.
  32. Back to top↑ Original edition in USA UU .; Reissue: In der Gegenwart. Übungen zum politischen Denken II. Munich 2000, pp. 228ss.
  33. Back to top↑ Arendt to Jaspers p. 52 sig. (July-August 1962).
  34. Back to top↑ Arendt an Jaspers , pp. 715s.
  35. Back to top↑ Adelbert Reif: Interview mit HA (1970). In: Macht und Gewalt. Munich 1970, pp. 107 and 109.
  36. Back to top↑ For the current discussion, consult especially the critical analyzes of Holocaust investigators Raul Hilberg and David Cesarani .
  37. Back to top↑ Eichmann in Jerusalem , Barcelona 1999, p. 368, English translation by Carlos Ribalta; Original German: Eichmann in Jerusalem. Ein Bericht von der Banalität des Bösen. Munich 1986, p. 371.
  38. Back to top↑ Eichmann war nicht banal (Eichmann was not banal), Die Welt , August 28, 1999
  39. Back to top↑ EeJ p. 56.
  40. Back to top↑ Arendt a McCarthy, p. 234 (September 1969).
  41. Back to top↑ EeJ p. 209.
  42. Back to top↑ EeJ p. 210.
  43. Back to top↑ Arendt a McCarthy pp. 231ss.
  44. Back to top↑ EeJ p. 215.
  45. Back to top↑ EeJ p. 216.
  46. Back to top↑ Gershom Scholem: Wir waren beide nicht dabei. In: Der Zeitgeist . Semi-final Supplement to Aufbau , No. 208, New York, 20 December 1963, pp. 17s.
  47. Back to top↑ Persönliche Verantwortung in der Diktatur. In: Israel, Palästina … , pp. 7-38.
  48. Back to top↑ EeJ p. 81.
  49. Back to top↑ Kalonymos Magazine, No. 4 (2000), p. 11 and sig. ( Broken link available in Internet Archive , see history and latest version ).
  50. Back to top↑ Hannah Arendt Center .
  51. Back to top↑ The text of the speech (of April 9, 199) is printed in: H. Arendt, Reflections , 2007, ISBN 978-0-8047-4499-7 , p. 282s; Available online at The Library of Congress website (link accessed October 6, 2009).
  52. Back to top↑ Lessing speech. Von der Menschlichkeit in finsteren Zeiten. Munich 1960.
  53. Back to top↑ Die Sonning-Preis-Rede. Copenhagen 1975. In: Text und Kritik. Zeitschrift für Literatur , No. 9, 2005, pp. 3-11.
  54. Back to top↑ See also soviet and Räterepublik in the German Wikipedia
  55. Back to top↑ Über die Revolution (ÜdR). Munich 1974, p. 198.
  56. Back to top↑ ÜdR, p. 221.
  57. Back to top↑ ÜdR, p. 203.
  58. Back to top↑ EuU p.645.
  59. Back to top↑ Persönliche Verantwortung in der Diktatur , loc. Cit. Pp. 33s.
  60. Back to top↑ Hannah Arendt. Heinrich Blücher. Briefe. München 1999, p. 353.
  61. Back to top↑ Arendt a Blücher, p. 469 (May 1958).
  62. Back to top↑ H. Arendt: Karl Jaspers. Network zur Verleihung des Friedenspreises des deutschen Buchhandels. Munich 1958.
  63. Back to top↑ Posted in: Hannah Arendt and Karl Jaspers: Briefwechsel 1926-1969 , pp. 719ss.
  64. Back to top↑ Arendt an Johnson, p. 79.
  65. Back to top↑ Arendt Blumenfeld, p. 197.
  66. Back to top↑ Arendt to Jaspers, p. 494.
  67. Back to top↑ Martin Heidegger ist achtzig Jahre alt. Reprint in: Menschen in finsteren Zeiten, loc. Cit., P. 183s.
  68. Back to top↑ Saña Alcón, Heleno (2008). Atlas of universal thought . Almuzara. P. 303. ISBN  978-84-92516-04-9 .
  69. Back to top↑ Nachwort . In: Hannah Arendt: Denktagebuch. Zweiter Band. München 2002, p. 827.
  70. Back to top↑ Hans Jonas: Handeln, Erkennen, Denken. Zu Hannah Arendts philosophischem Werk , in: Hannah Arendt. Materialien zu ihrem Werk , ed. Adelbert Reif, Vienna, 1979, pp. 353-370. First edition: Social Research , New York, year 44, n ° 1, spring of 1977.
  71. Back to top↑ Rahel Varnhagen. Lebensgeschichte einer deutschen Jüdin aus der Romantik. (RV) München, Zürich 1981.
  72. Back to top↑ Arendt to Jaspers (1956), p. 332.
  73. Back to top↑ RV 1981, p. 143.
  74. Return to top↑ RV 1981 p. 206.
  75. Back to top↑ EuU 2005, p. 334., see also EuU 1995, p. 254.
  76. Back to top↑ Eu 1955, p. 209.
  77. Back to top↑ Both quotations: EuU 1995, S. 425.
  78. Back to top↑ EuU 1995, S. 30f.
  79. Back to top↑ EuU 1995, pp. 30s.
  80. Back to top↑ EuU 1986 -TB-, p. 640.
  81. Back to top↑ EuU 1995, p. 507.
  82. Back to top↑ EuU 1986 -TB -, pp. 948ss.
  83. Back to top↑ EuU 1986 -TB-, pp. 703 and 713.
  84. Back to top↑ N. of t. ‘ Massen gleichgeschalteter Spießer ‘ in the original German.
  85. Back to top↑ EuU 1986 -TB-, pp. 719ss.
  86. Back to top↑ EuU 1986 -TB-, p. 706.
  87. Back to top↑ EuU 1986 -TB-, p. 30.
  88. Back to top↑ EuU 1986 -TB- p. 758, see also pp. 757ss.
  89. Back to top↑ EuU 1986 -TB-, pp. 641s.
  90. Back to top↑ EuU 1986 -TB-, pag. 739 et sig. And 763.
  91. Back to top↑ EuU 1986 -TB-, p. 794.
  92. Back to top↑ EuU 1986 -TB-, pp. 639s and 827.
  93. Back to top↑ EuU 1986 -TB-, pp. 907ss. And 916ss.
  94. Back to top↑ EuU 1986 -TB-, pp. 929ss.
  95. Back to top↑ EuU 1986 -TB-, pp. 960ss. Arendt takes from Montesquieu the distinction between Wesen (“essence”) and Prinzip (“principle”) of a government.
  96. Back to top↑ Vita activa oder Vom tätigen Leben. (VA) Munich, Zurich -TB- 2006.
  97. Back to top↑ VA -TB- 2006, p. twenty-one.
  98. Back to top↑ VA -TB- 2006, p. 36.
  99. Back to top↑ VA -TB- 2006, pp. 387s.
  100. Back to top↑ VA -TB- 2006, p. 51ss.
  101. Return to top↑ VA -TB- 2006, pp. 55s.
  102. Back to top↑ ÜdR -TB- 1974, pp. 284 and 286.
  103. Back to top↑ ÜdR -TB- 1974, p. 326s.
  104. Back to top↑ Kant, Critique of Pure Reason , B 871.
  105. Back to top↑ Vom Leben des Geistes. (LdG) München, Zürich 1998 -TB-, pp. 14s.
  106. Back to top↑ LdG 1998 -TB-, p. fifteen.
  107. Back to top↑ LdG 1998 -TB-, p. 18.
  108. Back to top↑ LdG 1998 -TB-, p. 209.
  109. Back to top↑ Das Urteilen. (DU) Munich, 1998 -TB-, p. 25; Compare with p. 89.
  110. Back to top↑ See also: Linda MG Zerilli: Einsicht in die Perspektive. Nach dem Ende aller Maßstäbe: Hannah Arendts Überlegungen zur demokratischen Urteilskraft sind von ungebrochener Aktualität, in: Frankfurter Rundschau , 7 January 2006; And the same in “Wir fühlen unsere Freiheit.” Einbildungskraft und Urteil im Denken Hannah Arendts, 2004; As well as Annette Vowinckel: Hannah Arendt. Leipzig 2006, pp. 98ss.
  111. Back to top↑ Seyla Benhabib : Hannah Arendt. Die melancholische Denkerin der Moderne. Hamburg, 1998, p. 9.
  112. Back to top↑ Subsection: Conrad als literarische Quelle für Arendt (EuU 1986 -TB-, pp. 407-413).
  113. Back to top↑ Irmtrud Wojak: Eichmanns Memoiren. Ein kritischer Essay. Frankfurt am Main, 2004
  114. Back to top↑ In: J.Ph. Reemtsma, Laudatio für Saul Friedländer anlässlich der Verleihung des Geschwister-Scholl-Preises 1998 ; Text available online ( broken link available on Internet Archive , see history and latest version ). .
  115. Back to top↑ Hauke ​​Brunkhorst: Hannah Arendt . Munich, 1999, p. 150.
  116. Back to top↑ Benhabib pp. 18 and 21.
  117. Back to top↑ Ich will verstehen. Selbstauskünfte zu Leben und Werk. Munich, Zurich -TB- 1996, pp. 77ss.
  118. Back to top↑ Elisabeth Young-Bruehl: Why Arendt Matters , London 2006, p. 112.
  119. Back to top↑ Antonia Grunenberg, Ernst Vollrath – Denkwege und Aufbrüche , speech for the Hannah Arendt Award, 2001. (Link consulted on October 6, 2009.)
  120. Back to top↑ Information about the Hannah-Arendt Prize (Hannah-Arendt-Preis) on the web hannah-arendt.de . Link consulted on October 6, 2009.
  121. Back to top↑ Die Totalitarismustheorie ist gescheitert .
  122. Back to top↑ Freiheit und Politik (Printed in: Die neue Rundschau , 69, 1958, notebook 4). In: Zwischen Vergangenheit und Zukunft. Übungen im politischen Denken I. Munich, 1994, pp. 201s.
  123. Back to top↑ Website “Hannah Arendt in Hannover” , with information about the Hannah Arendt Days. Link consulted on October 6, 2009.
  124. Back to top↑ Hannah Arendt-Zentrum ‘s website at the University of Oldenburg. Link consulted on October 6, 2009.
  125. Back to top↑ Website of the Hannah Arendt Association (Hungary) . Link consulted on October 6, 2009.
  126. Back to top↑ HannahArendt.net website . Link consulted on October 6, 2009.
  127. Back to top↑ For example: Hannah-Arendt-Gymnasium in Haßloch , Hannah-Arendt-Gymnasium in Barsinghausen , Hannah-Arendt-Schule in Hannover , Hannah-Arendt-Schule in Flensburg or Hannah-Arendt-Gymnasium in Neukölln, Berlin.
  128. Back to top↑ List of asteroids (100,000-105,000) at IAU Minor Planet Center . Link consulted on September 22, 2009.
  129. Back to top↑ [ http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/elpais/1-34809-2004-05-02.html Link consulted on August 30, 2016.